A critical assessment of the state of the art in airframe noise is presented. Full-scale data on the intensity, spectra, and directivity of this noise source are evaluated in light of the comprehensive theory developed by Ffowcs Williams and Hawkings. Vibration of panels on the aircraft is identified as a possible additional source of airframe noise. The present understanding and methods for prediction of other component sources - airfoils, struts, and cavities - are discussed. Operating problems associated with airframe noise as well as potential design methods for airframe noise reduction are identified.